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Digital Dreams - 2014

Primavera

TRIBE Member
I don't see the point in adding reviews to that 2012 event page.

So Digital Dreams 2014 edition review.

I loved it.

I loved it and I generally sort of loathe a lot of aspects of the EDM-iffication of these parties and the people they attract. My personal electronic music of choice tends to be nerdy d&b (Klute, Calibre, Blu Mar Ten) and more leftfield stuff like Scuba, Squarepusher and FaltyDL - yet I still loved Digital Dreams.

I went in 2012 and had a great time. My lessons from 2012 were: get there early and be prepared.

For this year I ended up buying a VIP ticket. Normally I wouldn't but at the time a few months back when I was buying my ticket the GA price was $225 and VIP was $265, so I thought for an extra $40 over two days - why not?


-the VIP entrace had basically no lineups either day. I showed up at 2pm on Saturday and 4pm on Sunday and had no lines.

- I got my wristband in advance and loaded money onto it via my credit card - had no problem with this.

- I rented a locker in advance which ended up beign very useful. Brought umbrelllas and rain poncho and tshirts to change into mid-day and my entire group of 4 people were all able to load our stuff into the lockers.

The logistics of the festival have taken a massive step up since 2012. The mainstage being in the Ampitheatre parking lot is way way way better than where it was in 2012. The mainstage area was HUGE and the stage was fucking gigantic. Arguably the biggest stage I've seen since I went to Coachella years ago. Massive lighting rig on it too. The carnival rides and abundant food and drink vendors everywhere was a big plus too. Water re-fill stations all over, all these things made the experience great.

MUSIC: JUSTICE. fuck yes. I had planned on catching Deep Dish over Justice but after 10 minutes of Deep Dish we got bored and started heading over the water to check out Justice and they dropped motherfucking WINDOWLICKER by Aphex Twin. I could hear it over the water and was freaking out (I'm a huge AFX fan). They played a massively eclectic, uncompromising and unpredictable set. The mainstage was relatively empty for them and I can only assume all the EDM bro's and chicks just didn't get it. They played Aphex Twin, Boney M, Michael Jackson, Joan Jett and all this random 80's shit interspersed with their own classics like Genesis and Stress. It was a fucking great set and Stress sounded incredible on the mainstage rig.

Noisia absolutely killed it at House of Boom. Their DNB stuff was pure filth and just the perfect dirty techy drum and bass for that crowd. The exodus of bros from Temple of Boom was fun to watch too - they couldn't handle it.

Prydz was great on Sunday night too. His set was one of the few times I used the raised VIP area to watch the mainstage and the crowd for his set was HUUUUUGE. Holy TONS of people. Amazing stuff, great vibe from watching that sea of people and the very expensive and impressive lighting rig at the main stage popping off.

The 4th stage by the water was a great addition too, perfect spot to cool off and enjoy the lake breeze.

Worst thing about the festival was limiting beer sales to Bud Light only (and equally shitty Bud Premium and Bud Light Lime), for $10 the least they could do would be to have Stella or a few decent other beers.

Anyways, had a great time. Was pretty exhausted by day 2. Might just do one day next year. Millions of beautiful girls half naked and great music and massive stages and lighting and visual set-ups - fun fun fun. It's expensive, it's sort of a pain in the ass at times - but it's still a great time if you stop being uptight about all the bro's.
 
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Stop Bill C-10

acheron

TRIBE Member
I went on Saturday... Had a really good time!

Here's a few pics of bros and chicks (lol)

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Primavera

TRIBE Member

Brutal.

Jesus.

Lesson for next year:

Order tickets early and get your wristband mailed to you. OR you could have gone to the Ampitheatre box-office any of the three days before the festival to pick up a wrist-band or exchage a ticket for a wristband. I know thats not feasible if you don't live in the city, but something to consider if you attend next year.

We got ours wristbands weeks in advance in the mail, we ordered our tickets from Ticketmaster.

I'm not trying to excuse Digital Dreams or Electronic Nation from an utter clusterfuck of the line issue, but from hearing about bad will-call line experiences in 2012, I made sure to get my wristband all setup well in advance AND not arrive to the venue too late for this year. In 2012 there were big line issues as well.

I got the VIP at 2pm on Sat and had no lines, friends got to GA line at 2:30 and had a 10 minute line. On Sunday at 4pm I had no lines in VIP and friends had a 15 minute line for GA.
 
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me

TRIBE Member
I picked up my wristband in advance and literally walked in both days, though some friends weren't so lucky and waited a couple of hours in Will Call line. If possible, get your tickets/wristbands in advance!! That being said the entire crew I was with absolutely had a blast BOTH days. Saturday LOVED Moudaber and Deep Dish had everybody moving. Crossfade...WOW!! Sunday was all about Green Velvet (if you were there you know ;) ) and rocked the first half of Andy C before closing it out to Luciano who smashed it. The stages and production were top notch. Set up very, very well. Kudos!
 

LikeASweet

TRIBE Member
Brutal.

Jesus.

Lesson for next year:

Order tickets early and get your wristband mailed to you. OR you could have gone to the Ampitheatre box-office any of the three days before the festival to pick up a wrist-band or exchage a ticket for a wristband. I know thats not feasible if you don't live in the city, but something to consider if you attend next year.

We got ours wristbands weeks in advance in the mail, we ordered our tickets from Ticketmaster.

I'm not trying to excuse Digital Dreams or Electronic Nation from an utter clusterfuck of the line issue, but from hearing about bad will-call line experiences in 2012, I made sure to get my wristband all setup well in advance AND not arrive to the venue too late for this year. In 2012 there were big line issues as well.

I got the VIP at 2pm on Sat and had no lines, friends got to GA line at 2:30 and had a 10 minute line. On Sunday at 4pm I had no lines in VIP and friends had a 15 minute line for GA.

what people are not understanding is that WE DID order them early enough and did not receive them in the mail. we were never notified by ticketmaster or liveanation that they were not coming in the mail until WE called them the week of the festival. they directed us to that shitstorm.

there is no excuse for the bullshit and the poor organization by ticketmaster and live nation. i dont want to hear anything about buying them earlier or going to the festival earlier or any of that shit, its utter nonsense. they knew how many people who pre purchased their tickets still needed to pick them up the morning of the festival and they did nothing. there were people who waited in line who traveled over seas and out of town for the event who got screwed out of the event for there mistake.

if i knew part of the experience was to not get my wristband in the mail beforehand like i should have and then have the organizers make me wait 4 hours in line...it even just sounds absurd writing that, i obviously wouldnt have gone.
 

Primavera

TRIBE Member
Totally inexcusable.

I saw your thread about this on TRC too.

Really hope you manage to find someone and get an explanation on this. Have your considered contacting Ryan Kruger (of Electronic Nation) on Facebook?
 

wakipaki

TRIBE Member
i find this somewhat mindblowing, it's freaking Live Nation at their home venue, mindblowing, find a lawyer to start a class action, it would be a fun summer side project
 

DJ Vuvu Zela

TRIBE Member
when i was young i'd be down with this festival. now a days there's no way i'd be anywhere near it. just too big and high potential for clusterfuckery.
 
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Klubmasta Will

TRIBE Member
i had an absolute blast at this event, over both days. party of the year for me, for sure (thus far at least).

we had a lot of friends in attendance and loved the big party atmosphere. it was a special treat seeing danny tenaglia rip up a big crowd.

two of my nieces also attended (aged 20 and 17), which was a bit odd, but we had fun as my friends were very welcoming to them.

i'm sorry to hear about the line-up issues. hopefully those get fixed for next year.
 

Maui

TRIBE Member

Rage

TRIBE Member
Why keep going when this happens to you all year after year? I just don't get it? Hate reading reviews like this for the few crappy festivals we get in this city. Feel bad for everyone.

It's like the Leafs. Why would they put a good team on the ice when every home game is a sell-out. Next year, DON'T GO. Show them how you feel about their (lack of) organization & horrible customer service with your wallets, not words. This is a large multi-billion $ corporation, not a few promoters trying to put something together for the love of the music and to have fun. It's all about profit for these guys. You think they really care what kind of experience you have? I think they've clearly proven they don't.
 
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Sal De Ban

TRIBE Member
To be fair, at least one of these bad reviews is from someone who didn't even attend. Sure it sounds like the experience sucked for a lot of people, but there are enough people out there willing to pay big money and go next year - either because they haven't attended a D.D. yet, or they didn't feel like they were screwed around - because they don't know how it 'should be' done. This festival, is identical to none.
 
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JamesM

TRIBE Member
I'm just saying. There was some serious drama going down in the review thread on facebook. Someone took a screen grab of a Digital Dreams comment over the lineup fiasco..

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If that was an offical post, and deleted. Seriously uncool. Someone illuded to the internet never forgets, and reposted this screen grab.

Wasn't a fan of the after party we hit up. Too agressive. Maybe it was our dumb luck we had to meet certian people.

I really enjoyed the first Digital Dreams. No lie. And we never made it to the last two. It appeared like last year was a breeze with regards to the lineup situation from the first year.
 
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SneakyPete

TRIBE Member
lol You have to pay a $5 service fee to get any remaining balance back left on your account. I didn't even go and this is making me angry. They never mentioned this fee before the event, but they did mention this in the FAQ.

What happens if I don’t use all the money that I loaded onto the account?

Any funds that you don’t use on the account are refunded to you.
 

JamesM

TRIBE Member
They said nothing costs less than $3 dollars there.

So if you bought the $10 beers.. They're depending on folks not bothering with their 2 or 3 dollars left over on their credit card electronic wrist band, plus $5 processing fee to get your money back. So Times that by alot of folks.

Huge cash grab. Where's Davincii swiping the credit cards?
 

LikeASweet

TRIBE Member
lol You have to pay a $5 service fee to get any remaining balance back left on your account. I didn't even go and this is making me angry. They never mentioned this fee before the event, but they did mention this in the FAQ.

but the wristbands are for the customers convenience!!:rolleyes:
 

SmoothOperator

TRIBE Member
I stopped going to huge multi-day parties ever since WEMF on Christian Island in 98! lol Went to every one up till then. The lineup for the ferry, to the lineup to get in on the other side, etc, etc was just too much.
Perhaps my bullshit tolerance is far below what it should be (or I'm old and jaded), but I find it hard to have a good time when things become such a huge hassle.
 
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Primavera

TRIBE Member
I'm not trying to defend Digital Dreams or their corporate behemouth behind the event, but in 2012 I went and we bought tickets via "Rogers Wireless Box Office" we got to the event early and got our wristbands with a very small line and got in and had a totally great time. Later on I read reviews here saying that later in the day (around 4-5pm) the line situation was insane and a total clusterfuck and people were screaming bloody murder (as they probably should), but for me....lesson learned, get your shit together and get in early.

We missed last year but this year I ordered my VIP ticket well in advance, got the wristband in the mail, registered it online and added money to it in advance. And I got to the VIP line at 2pm when they opened and....I got in very quickly and ended up having no logistical issues with the festival itself.

Entrance line was fast
Food lines were fast
Drink lines were fast

My girlfriend and another friend who didn't have VIP, but also got their wristbands in the mail in advance and added money to them...they say they dealt with no longer than a 15 minute line when they got the fest at 2:30pm on Saturday or 4:30pm on Sunday.

So the lesson with any huge festival is: plan the fuck ahead. Doesn't matter if its electronic music or whatever. get there early. get organized. try and buy your ticket well in advance if you can. The Ampitheatre box office was open for 4 days in advance of the event to exchange physical tickets for wristbands. It's ridiculous that thousands of people apparently didn't take advantage of that and instead took their chances with the lines the day-of the event. I know that wasn't an option for some people who live way out of the city, but if you lived in Toronto and left the wristband exchange until mid day on the event day - well you kind of shot yourself in the food with that decision.

Anyways, Digital Dreams was a great time.

I wouldn't have changed much about it personally, obviously they have staffing issues with the ticket/wristband/will-call but that didn't effect me personally.

My biggest problem was allowing their sponsor Bud to be the ONLY beer sold at the event. Bud is owned by InBev who owns a host of other good beers that could have been sold at the festival. Craft beer is huge in this city and the city has a slew of great brewers. It would be nice to see a festival actually take beer seriously one of these days.

Also the locker rentals which were useful could have been located way more central inside the venue. For $15 I'd expect that much at least.

Otherwise: great job Digital Dreams / Electronic Nation. Festival was pretty fanfuckintastic for most of those actually in attendance and not this lot moaning on here and dismissing it all.
 
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djsubrock

TRIBE Promoter
not to be negative but this stuff is garbage
dont take it personal if you like this stuff. stick to your guns. i wish there were hot girls like this at my jams.
i mean it would be different if we were supporting dope artists like moodyman, theo parrish or paradox, and freddy foxx/KRS-1 or some obscure minimal wave artists on this level.
but i guess it wouldnt be the same.
this summer is dry as fuck here in toronto.
hudson mohawke and model 500 on the same fucking day. after weeks and weeks of garbage. come on toronto promoters/bookers. how about some coordination instead of competing for the same dollar.
what was prodominent drug here mdma or crystal meth? just asking...
peace
sr
 

Primavera

TRIBE Member
not to be negative but this stuff is garbage
dont take it personal if you like this stuff. stick to your guns. i wish there were hot girls like this at my jams.
i mean it would be different if we were supporting dope artists like moodyman, theo parrish or paradox, and freddy foxx/KRS-1 or some obscure minimal wave artists on this level.
but i guess it wouldnt be the same.
this summer is dry as fuck here in toronto.
hudson mohawke and model 500 on the same fucking day. after weeks and weeks of garbage. come on toronto promoters/bookers. how about some coordination instead of competing for the same dollar.
what was prodominent drug here mdma or crystal meth? just asking...
peace
sr

I like the music of FaltyDL a ton more than I love most typical popular house music but jesus tapdancing christ was watching Eric Prydz annihilate a crowd of like 15,000 people popping off on a ridiculously massive stage at Digital Dreams way way way more fun and entertaining than when I saw FaltyDL play to an audience of 100 neckbeards at the Hoxton in February.

I think to dismiss it as "garbage" is massively short-sighted. Sure there are untold countless "elements" of a big corporate "edm" concert that attracts hordes of bro's isn't ideal by a long shot, doesn't mean it can't still be fun and have moments that drive right to the core of your love of dance music.

I love lots of more left-field underground electronic music, but why would Digital Dreams really have a responsibility to "support dope artists" that have minimal commercial viability? I loved it when Nu:Tone was playing Calibre tracks at Digital Dreams in 2012 but unfortunate I was one out of a few dozen people paying attention to it.

Having someone like Graze or Egyptrixx playing a this event on an outdoor stage before a bunch of trance/drum & bass/dubstep would have just been out of place and in that crowd would have attracted a very small crowd.

There is a time and place for everything and I think just because an event has corporate sponsors and a dickpole like Tiesto headling and in general couldn't give a fuck less about "obscure minimal wave artists"....that doesn't make it "garbage" whatsoever.
 
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LikeASweet

TRIBE Member
I'm not trying to defend Digital Dreams or their corporate behemouth behind the event, but in 2012 I went and we bought tickets via "Rogers Wireless Box Office" we got to the event early and got our wristbands with a very small line and got in and had a totally great time. Later on I read reviews here saying that later in the day (around 4-5pm) the line situation was insane and a total clusterfuck and people were screaming bloody murder (as they probably should), but for me....lesson learned, get your shit together and get in early.

We missed last year but this year I ordered my VIP ticket well in advance, got the wristband in the mail, registered it online and added money to it in advance. And I got to the VIP line at 2pm when they opened and....I got in very quickly and ended up having no logistical issues with the festival itself.

Entrance line was fast
Food lines were fast
Drink lines were fast

My girlfriend and another friend who didn't have VIP, but also got their wristbands in the mail in advance and added money to them...they say they dealt with no longer than a 15 minute line when they got the fest at 2:30pm on Saturday or 4:30pm on Sunday.

So the lesson with any huge festival is: plan the fuck ahead. Doesn't matter if its electronic music or whatever. get there early. get organized. try and buy your ticket well in advance if you can. The Ampitheatre box office was open for 4 days in advance of the event to exchange physical tickets for wristbands. It's ridiculous that thousands of people apparently didn't take advantage of that and instead took their chances with the lines the day-of the event. I know that wasn't an option for some people who live way out of the city, but if you lived in Toronto and left the wristband exchange until mid day on the event day - well you kind of shot yourself in the food with that decision.
Anyways, Digital Dreams was a great time.

I wouldn't have changed much about it personally, obviously they have staffing issues with the ticket/wristband/will-call but that didn't effect me personally.

My biggest problem was allowing their sponsor Bud to be the ONLY beer sold at the event. Bud is owned by InBev who owns a host of other good beers that could have been sold at the festival. Craft beer is huge in this city and the city has a slew of great brewers. It would be nice to see a festival actually take beer seriously one of these days.

Also the locker rentals which were useful could have been located way more central inside the venue. For $15 I'd expect that much at least.

Otherwise: great job Digital Dreams / Electronic Nation. Festival was pretty fanfuckintastic for most of those actually in attendance and not this lot moaning on here and dismissing it all.

no offense but there is no lesson to be learned here. ive been to MANY huge festivals of all kinds around the world and have never experienced anything like that. if anything, the lesson learned, should be with those putting the event on as it was THEIR fuck up not the customer. just like anything else the customer is being told that they should have done this, that and the other - maybe they should put that in print on the ticket when they sell it or include that in their service policy next time. rr how about this, actually providing the service that they told us they were going to when I paid for my ticket. not a difficult concept as it sounds.
 
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